SEPT. 11 CHANGED AMERICANS FOREVER
AMERICANS feel a little less stable and a lot more uncertain following the events of a year ago today.
At the same time, Americans are feeling more dependent on each other and on their government after the Sept. 11 attacks. Many turned to God and one another after jet airliners, piloted by suicidal radicals, crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and into a field in Pennsylvania, resulting in the deaths of more than 3,000.
Americans are still feeling the impact of the events. Their confidence in flying was deeply shaken. Airlines trimmed flights from their schedules and laid off pilots. Even with improvements in airport security, the public's confidence in air transportation has not fully rebounded and some airlines are in financial trouble
Americans and the Congress gave their strong support to President Bush's efforts to root out terrorists from Afghanistan and try to hunt down Osama bin Laden, the suspected orchestrator of the Sept. 11 attacks. The public seems comfortable with the results of these efforts, but questions loom large on where America should go from here.
IS THERE A RESOLVE to continue to spend billions of dollars in the continued war against terrorism? Are Americans willing to sacrifice troops and other resources in an effort to remove its old enemy, Saddam Hussein, from power in Iraq?
Homeland security has become a major focus in our nation since last Sept. 11. Americans want to know that the FBI and the CIA are doing all they can to prevent another attack.
Patriotism has flourished over the past year. Old Glory has been planted on lawns and pinned on the lapels of suit jackets. "God Bless America" has become a standard at baseball games, and police officers and firefighters have been given a new place of honor among Americans.
SEPT. 11, 2001, changed Americans in many ways. Citizens remain uneasy on where or when another attack might occur. They want to trust that their government is doing all it can to alleviate their concerns. They want to believe President Bush and the Congress have all the information they need to make wise decisions.
No one person or political body can guarantee that America will never again be surprised by an attack. But Americans seem willing enough to pay the price to fight terrorism, bolster intelligence gathering operations, improve airport security, protect our dams and other major resources from destructive forces and take the necessary steps to ensure that the unthinkable does not occur again.